Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I just realized I never posted about Laos!

Don't worry, it's not an epic seven-post series like Cambodia. The Laos part was a lot more vacation-y and a little less life-altering. Our group was smaller, and we were a bit worn out from the first week of travel, so we took it fairly easy, just enjoying our little hotel in Luang Prabang.

The Laos trip is a tale of two cities, first the World Heritage City of Luang Prabang, and second, the capital of Vientiane.Luang Prabang is a tourist site, altogether, but it is also incredibly pleasant. Vientiane is a living, moving city, so it's more dynamic and also noisier.

Let's talk about Luang Prabang first.

Hotel room!

My memorable impressions of Laos are mostly of sensory enjoyments, sleeping in, food (oh goodness, the sticky rice thing we ate in Luang Prabang that I spent the rest of our Laos time tracking down and eating at every restaurant possible), biking liesurely, "Tuk-tuk, waterfall?", and the way the market was so very different from that in Siem Reap.

Night market!
 Seriously, we went to the night market and the people would watch you walk by and just say hi to you, unless you stood there staring at something, then they might offer to show it to you. You were not accosted. I think we saw even more orange-robed monks in Laos than in Cambodia.

I thought this image was so cool (this photo taken at a temple). I later bought it in print form at the night market.

A tale of a like three? dollar foot massage.

It is as peaceful and sun-dappled as it looks.
Down by the river behind the hotel

The "bamboo bridge" .. quickest way to get into town from where we were staying. But only on foot.

When biking, take this bridge. Think about how cars have to go to cross this. One direction at a time.
Miriam left us not long after we hit the second city, Vientiane. We had signed up for a bike tour of the city on the 5th, our second day, but the morning was rainy and chilly. It got pushed back to the afternoon, but Kameron was feeling sick, so I went without him.

Our bike tour leaders are totally Dutch. 
Tank treads make good fencing

F-you, Thailand across the river!

The bike tour was a really good way to see the city, and I enjoyed it more than the walking around and self-guided sightseeing I dragged Kam along for on the following day. Memories of Vientiane are the bike tour, and the nightly movie on the movie channel in the hotel room.

Oh, and finding food on the last night, which led us around the area where our hotel was. We're far enough from downtown that it was a bit of a pain in the ass to go all the way there for dinner. But the places around us didn't have English menus (we walked to one and walked sadly away). The second place we stopped at didn't look too promising, but the guy seemed willing to communicate. Then he read my shirt. Which was in kanji.

Turned out, he had stayed in Japan and could speak Japanese rather well. We did all our food transaction in Japanese. Then he told us about how the movie Tokyo Drift is totally about him, so we took photos with him. I haven't seen that movie yet, but I now plan to, and when I do, I'll think of this guy.

1 comment:

  1. I think that to walk on the "Bamboo Bridge" in the night will be somewhat scary and asking a bit courage from the one walking on it. Flights to Kuala Lumpur